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A Boycott Guide


By Susan C. Faludi

It was a popular week for boycotts. The Faculty Council Wednesday considered possible guidelines for University policy on student consumer boycotts. The guidelines would force the University to stop purchasing a product if a "substantial number" of users boycott the product, and if the University can find a substitute at no extra cost.

The guidelines, drawn up by the Ad Hoc Committee on Consumer Responsibility (CCR), would empower the Committee on Housing and Undergraduate Life (CHUL) or some other "appropriate committee" to decide whether enough users oppose the product to warrant an official University boycott. If it is not clear how students back a boycott, the guidelines require the University to continue to buy the product, but also purchase an alternative product which boycotters can use.

Archie C. Epps III, dean of students and the chairman of CCR, said yesterday the report tries to devise a "responsible policy" for boycotts while protesting "individual choice."

The Faculty Council approved the general intent of the guidelines, Epps said, but questioned the report's proposal that the University call for a student referendum in cases where it is difficult to gauge student opinion because of the nature of the product. J.P. Stevens linen, used by the University Health Services, is an example of such a product, Epps said.

Several Faculty Council members also recommended that the CCR set up an advisory committee on consumer responsibility to rule on these uncertain cases instead of calling for a referendum.

Student Assembly members expressed skepticism about the ambiguous language of much of the CCR's report. Last week Ross D. Boylan '80, an assembly representative, proposed a list of clarifications the assembly wants to include in the CCR report.

The clarifications ask the CCR to eliminate consideration of extra cost in the decision to boycott a product.

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